A new threat has just arrived in Texas after hurricane Harvey which affected millions of people. The threat is from large “rafts” of fire ants which have been discovered floating in floodwaters. It is found that the ants were displaced by record flooding. Thus, the insects have responded by forming rafts built on top of dead ants, so that they can stay on the top of water and keep dry.
The fire ants hail from the flood plains of the Paraguay River in South America. The ants are habitual to flood-prone environments. Alex Wild who is the curator of entomology at the University of Texas said that he never saw anything like the Cuero swarm in his entire career as an ant researcher. It was observed that the fire ants made their first entry to Southern United States in the 1930s. Since then, they have been spreading there with devastating consequences.
By: Bhavna Sharma